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With the collective.contentfiles2aws package, you can store Plone files and images on amazon s3 service.


The main purpose of the package to move content images and files to amazon CDN, that allows to serve content to end users with high performance and high availability. The package contains two content types: AWSFile and AWSImage which work similar to the default Plone ones. The main difference is that they store their content on amazon simple storage instead of a Plone site. Also, the package contains a patch for default content types like Image, File, and News Item.


The package was tested on Plone 3.3.5.


The package requires boto library ( that is compatible with python 2.4.

This package was developed and tested with @1011 revision of boto library. For manual checkout, use this command:

svn co


To add the package to your Zope instance, do the following:

  1. Follow the instructions provided in the docs/INSTALL.txt file.
  2. Restart your Zope instance.
  3. Install the collective.contentfiles2aws package with Quickinstaller in Plone (Site Setup > Add/Remove Products).

After the package is installed, it should be configured properly. For this, you need to have an amazon account.

Amazon S3 bucket

Every file that you upload to Amazon S3 is stored in a container called a bucket. Before you start working with Amazon S3, you must create at least one bucket. The bucket namespace is shared by all users of the system; therefore, name of each bucket should be unique. You can create up to 100 buckets per account. Each bucket can contain an unlimited number of files. Buckets cannot be nested: you cannot create a bucket within a bucket. Bucket ownership is not transferable; however, if a bucket is empty, you can delete it. After a bucket is deleted, the name becomes available for reuse. However, the name might be unavailable for reuse because of various reasons, for example, a bucket with the same name can be created by another account. So, if you want to use the same bucket name, don’t delete the bucket. Note that it might take some time before the name can be reused.

There is no limit to the number of objects that can be stored in a bucket. Performance is not impacted by the number of buckets that you use. You can store all of your objects in a single bucket, or you can organize them across several buckets.

Rules for Bucket Naming

In all regions except for the US Standard region, a bucket name must comply with the following rules (as a result of a DNS compliant bucket name):

  • Bucket name must be at least 3 and no more than 63 characters long
  • Bucket name must be a series of one or more labels separated by a period (.), where each label:
  • Must start with a lowercase letter or a number
  • Must end with a lowercase letter or a number
  • Can contain lowercase letters, numbers, and dashes
  • Bucket names must not be formatted as IP addresses (e.g.,
The following are examples of valid bucket names:
  • myawsbucket
  • myawsbucket.1

These naming rules for US Standard region can result in a bucket name that is not DNS compliant. For example, MyAWSBucket - is a valid bucket name with uppercase letters in its name. If you try to access this bucket using a virtual hosted-style request,, the URL resolves to the bucket myawsbucket and not the bucket MyAWSBucket. In response, Amazon S3 will return a not found error. To avoid this problem, we recommend that you always use DNS-compliant bucket names regardless of the region in which you create the bucket.


To configure the collective.contentfiles2aws package to work with you amazon account, you need to accomplish the following steps:

  1. In your site root, open the ‘portal_properties’ tool
  2. Find ‘contentfiles2aws’ property sheet and click it
  3. In the AWS_KEY_ID field, enter your aws key id
  4. In the AWS_SEECRET_KEY field, enter your aws secret key
  5. In the AWS_BUCKET_NAME field, enter the name of the created bucket
  6. (optional) In the AWS_FILENAME_PREFIX field, enter the name of a folder in bucket. This folder will be used to store your files. Also, you can provide slash separated path, for example: folder1/folder2/folder3. Actually, there are no folders in Amazon S3, only key/value pairs. The key can contain slashes (“/”) and that will make it appear as a folder in management console, but programmatically it’s not a folder, it is a string value. Anyway, if you prefer using folder, you can specify one in the AWS_FILENAME_PREFIX field.
  7. Select the USE_AWS check box. This check box allows you to turn on or turn off amazon storage. If ‘USE_AWS’ check box is not selected, that means that all newly created content types that use aws file or image fields will work like default ones, and will store their values in the database. Objects that were created before you remove selection from the USE_AWS check box will work as usual. If you select the USE_AWS check box, all newly created objects with aws file or image fields will store their values to amazon storage.

Custom content type

If you want to store images or files to aws storage in your custom content type, you need to do the following steps:

  1. Use AWSImageField or AWSFileField instead default ImageField or File field in your content type schema.
  2. Use AWSImageWidget and AWSFieldWidget for AWSImageField and AWSFileField accordingly.
  3. Use AWSStorage instead of AnnotationStorage for AWSImageField or AWSFileField.

Here is example of simple aws image field:

             storage = `AWSStorage()`,
             pil_quality = zconf.pil_config.quality,
             pil_resize_algo = zconf.pil_config.resize_algo,
             max_size = zconf.ATImage.max_image_dimension,
             sizes= {'large'   : (768, 768),
                     'preview' : (400, 400),
                     'mini'    : (200, 200),
                     'thumb'   : (128, 128),
                     'tile'    :  (64, 64),
                     'icon'    :  (32, 32),
                     'listing' :  (16, 16),
             validators = (('isNonEmptyFile', V_REQUIRED),
                           ('checkImageMaxSize', V_REQUIRED)),
             widget = `AWSImageWidget`(
                      description = '',
                      label= _(u'label_image', default=u'Image'),
                      show_content_type = False,)),


If you have a lot of images and files on your site, and you want to move them all to amazon storage, there is a simple migration procedure that you can follow. Migration script (zope 3 view) named ‘migrate-content’ can be called on any context. If you call ‘migrate-content’ view, you will see a list of content types that have at least one aws field (image or file) in their schema. (If your content type is not in that list, it means that you do not use aws fields in it, or you use default Image and File fields instead of aws ones.) Next to the content types list, you will see the number of objects for each content type found on this context. To migrate object for specific content type, you need to pass ‘content_type’ parameter for ‘migrate-content’ script.

For example, if you want to migrate Image content type, you need to specify it like this:


If you want to migrate all objects for all content types that were found on the current context, you need to specify ‘all’ value for content_type parameter, like this:


After a script finishes the migration, it will show a list of migrated content types and number of migrated fields for each content type.

Note: Migration is a time consuming procedure. It can take from a few minutes up to several hours, depending on the amount of files and images in your database.


After you installed the package, configured it, and turned AWS storage on, all files and images will be stored in amazon s3 storage. It means that during object creation, file data will be send to a remote server. In case remote server is inaccessible for some reasons (bad configuration or issues on server side), your data will not be lost, it will be saved in site database, as if you were using a default Image or File instead of AWS one. After all issues were resolved, all AWS files and images that were created when amazon was not accessible, can easily be migrated to amazon. To migrate such objects, you need to click the edit action, and then, on the edit form, under the image or file you will see an info box saying that this image or file is currently saved in a database. After you click the Save button, regardless if you make any changes or not, the system will try to migrate image or file to amazon. If migration is successful, info box will disappear from the edit form.

Url generation

AWSImagField and AWSFileField have widgets that generate proper URL to the image or file. Depending on the place where the data is stored, URL will point to amazon or your site. If you decide not to use the widget, you can use ‘aws_image_url’ and ‘aws_file_url’ helper views for image and file URL generation accordingly. Here is an example of file URL helper view usage:

>>> from zope.component import getMultiAdapter
>>> aws_file_url = \
...    getMultiAdapter((context, request), name=u'aws_file_url')
>>> aws_file_url(instance, name='fieldname', brain=False)
  • instance - is content object or brain;
  • name - field name;
  • brain - boolean flag that need to be set to False if instance is object
    not brain. (True - by default)

For image URL helper view usage:

>>> from zope.component import getMultiAdapter
>>> aws_image_url = \
...    getMultiAdapter((context, request), name=u'aws_image_url')
>>> aws_image_url(instance, name='fieldname',
...               scale='scale_name', brain=False)
  • instance - is content object or brain;
  • name - field name;
  • scale - image scale (None - by default);
  • brain - boolean flag that need to be set to False if instance is object
    not brain. (True - by default);

AWS file naming

Each file and image that is stored into amazon bucket has unique name that is generated from following parts:

  • content object UID;
  • generated part
  • field name
  • scale name (for images)
  • filename

For example:

                             Generated part   Scale name
                                 |-----|       |---|
|------------------------------|         |---|       |-------------|
        Object UID                    Field name       File name


[] Add transformation for images and files inserted by kupu.




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